Highlights of Noteworthy Decisions

Decision 2972 18
S. Ryan
  • Negligence
  • Transfer of costs

The accident employer was providing concrete services at a construction site. A worker of the accident employer was injured when a piece of sheet metal flashing fell from an elevated boom lift operated by a worker of the roofing contractor. The Board transferred the full costs of the claim to the roofing contractor. The roofing contractor appealed.

The roofing contractor was not charged with any offence under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. However, Tribunal decisions have accepted that the statutory duties under OHSA are a useful guide in establishing a standard of reasonable conduct and the evidence of breach of a duty of care owed under OHSA that causes injury to a worker is evidence of negligence.
The roofing contractor was negligent in that it failed to attend regular meetings of the general contractor to provide updates on the work site and details about the work to be done. On the day of the accident, workers of the roofing contractor entered through an unauthorized access and did not report their arrival to the superintendent. The workers of the roofing contractor did not section off the area of the boom lift.
The accident employer either had no safety protocol respecting work around boom lifts or the injured worker failed to adhere to the protocol.
In the circumstances, the Vice-Chair assigned 75% of the costs of the claim to the roofing contractor and 25% to the accident employer.
The appeal was allowed in part.